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Need More Storage? Order Grain Bins Now

If you are one of the many producers who held on to your 2014 crop waiting for a rally in prices that never came, you may need more on-farm grain storage to accommodate this year’s harvest.

“We have enough grain carrying over that if it’s an average yielding year, it will be difficult finding places to store grain,” says Gary Woodruff with GSI. “Anything bigger than average and it’s going to be tough.”

If you’d like to add more grain bins, it’s best to act sooner rather than later.

“Earlier is always better as we have some dealers who are already booked for the rest of 2015,” says John Hanig of Sukup Manufacturing. “However, we have had farmers order grain bins in August and have those installed for the current harvest season, as long as they are just adding storage. It’s never too late to call.”

There is a longer lead-time, six to eight weeks, for legs, conveyors, or other major changes to the setup, adds Hanig.

The ability to get grain storage installed quickly often comes down to the labor availability, not the manufacturer’s capacity to supply bins, adds Woodruff. The best way to find out is to call your local grain bin dealer.

Sizing up storage needs
When you are determining bin size, remember bigger is probably better.

“Farmers tend to size equipment for today’s needs rather than looking at five, 10, or 15 years down the road,” says Woodruff.

Roger Carlson from Red Oak, Iowa, learned this the hard way. He expanded his grain storage gradually over the years, from 30,000 bushels in the 1990s to 750,000 bushels today.

“Every time I’ve put up a bin, I wish I would have doubled the size of it,” says Carlson. “I wish that I had five bins instead of 13.”

Building bigger is better, concurs Carl Ryan who farms near Wyoming, Illinois. “If you’re thinking of building a 40,000-bushel bin, build a bigger one,” he says. “The more bins you have the more fans, legs, unload augers, etc., you need, which increases the expense.”

It may be worthwhile to tear out older, smaller bins in lieu of a new, larger bin. “Often taking out three small bins and putting in one big one will pay you back in a short period because your system will be so much more effective and efficient,” says Woodruff.

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